In a disappointing blow to progressive Democrats, the proposed assault weapons ban in Colorado has failed to gain traction for the second year in a row. House Bill 1292, set to be presented to the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, will be withdrawn following a decision by its sponsor, Senator Julie Gonzales (D-Denver).

In a statement released on Monday, Senator Gonzales stated, “I intend to request that the Senate State Veterans and Military Affairs committee postpone indefinitely HB24-1292, the assault weapons ban, on May 7, 2024. That being said, I couldn’t be prouder of my colleagues in the House of Representatives for passing an assault weapons ban for the first time in Colorado history.”

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Acknowledging the need for further discussions outside of the volatile legislative session, Gonzales expressed her willingness to engage in ongoing conversations over the interim period. She emphasized the importance of addressing gun violence and reiterated her belief that an assault weapons ban would effectively save lives.

Over the past two years, progressive Democrats have actively pursued a ban on various firearms, specifically focusing on those with detachable components. However, both the 2023 and 2024 versions of the proposed ban faced significant obstacles in advancing through the legislative process.

The extensive list of firearms that would have been prohibited from purchase under HB 1292 included many weapons that nobody would consider assault weapons.

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While the bill successfully garnered approval from the House with a 35-27 vote on April 14, its progress in the Senate was notably stagnant, signaling potential challenges in the more moderate chamber. The state affairs committee, where the bill would have been reviewed initially, posed a potential hurdle as the swing vote, Senator Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial), expressed reservations about the effectiveness of an assault weapons ban.

Local Coloradan gun activists Ava Flanell and Lesley Hollywood weighed in on the news. Watch:

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However, the main impediment to the bill’s passage likely stemmed from the governor’s skepticism. Governor Jared Polis expressed doubts about the ban’s efficacy, highlighting the potential for individuals to easily cross state lines to purchase weapons and advocating for a federal solution. This belief aligns with his previous sponsorship of similar legislation during his time in Congress.

With the assault weapons ban now withdrawn, supporters of gun control will regroup and strategize their next steps in their ongoing efforts to disarm law-abiding citizens under the guise of reducing gun violence for your safety.

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